Surfblazer, in conjunction with Olympic Holidays, their Greek distributors, provided a small party of journalists with a three days’ introduction to Springtime Greece. The main object was to demonstrate the Surfblazer motor boat in moderately warm water.
We were escorted via Gatwick-Athens-Corfu, to the Dassia Beach Hotel, and after a brief talk about the boat were let loose on the Ionean sea.
The engine is a Japanese 225-c.c. air-cooled two-stroke, similar to the type used in chain saws, and making a similar noise.
Owing to the propeller being recessed in the hull, it is possible to drive the boat straight from the sea onto the beach and leave the propellers still running, quite safely.
There were three boats in operation. I chose mine and, alter being assured I would not get wet, sat astride the motorbike-type seat, fully clothed. One pull on the starter cord and the engine was running. I leaped forward, and for the next 10-15 minutes had a most thrilling and entertaining time. The sea was fairly choppy and I found that I was bouncing along at around 25 m.p.h. The technique of handling these boats is similar to that of motorcycling, banking hard over on the turn. I think it is possible to turn them over but I and nobody else succeeded that day. The high speed of these boats is attained by planing over the water but anybody weighing over 16-17 stone would be out of luck, as one of our party discovered.
I do not know how this boat will appeal to the boating fraternity, but I, as a keen motorist, was completely sold on it.
The whole boat weighs about 138 lb. and two people should be able to lift it onto a car’s roof rack, the width being 3 ft., length 8 ft. At £295 it seems a trifle expensive but appears to be of a durable construction. I think it should be noted that of the three test boats, only one remained functional at the day’s end. One had a cracked petrol tank, the other a waterlogged engine.
The strength of the surviving boat was shown when an eight-year old boy drove the boat flat out into the jetty. From the expressions of horror this was not a planned demonstration. He survived to “Surfblaze” again!
The Surfblazer factory is in Halstead, Essex, and their main office in Colchester, where any enquiries should be directed. — I. R. T.